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Country : India State : Himachal Pradesh         Shimla               
     
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Wikipedia Guide
Shimla (Hindi: शिमला [ˈʃɪmlaː]  ( listen); Punjabi: ਸ਼ਿਮਲਾ; Urdu: شملہ), originally called Simla, is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. In 1864, Shimla was declared the summer capital of the British Raj in India. A popular tourist destination, Shimla is often referred to as the "Queen of Hills" (a term coined by the British). Located in the north-west Himalayas at an altitude of 2,128 metres (6,982 ft), the city of Shimla, draped in forests of pine, rhododendron, and oak, experiences pleasant summers and cold, snowy winters. The city is famous for its buildings styled in tudorbethan and neo-gothic architecture dating from the colonial era. Shimla is connected to the city of Kalka by one of the longest narrow gauge railway routes still operating in India, the Kalka-Shimla Railway. Shimla is approximately 115 km (71.4 miles) from Chandigarh, the nearest major city, and 365 km (226.8 miles) from New Delhi, the national capital. The city is named after the goddess Shyamala Devi, an...      Read more at wikipedia...
 
Description
Shimla has been blessed with all the natural bounties, one can think of. Dwelling on a panoramic location, the hilly town is surrounded by green pastures and snow-capped peaks. The spectacular cool hills accompanied by the structures made during the colonial era create an aura, which is very different from other hill stations.

Bulging at its seams with unprecedented expansion, Shimla retains its colonial heritage, with grand old buildings, among them are the stately Viceregal Lodge, charming iron lamp posts and Anglo-Saxon names. The Mall, packed with shops and eateries, is the centre of attraction of the town, and Scandal Point, associated with the former Maharaja of Patiala's escapades, offers a view of distant snowclad
 
Location
Location: Himachal Pradesh.
Altitude: 2,159m
 
Best time to visit
Shimla is located on the slopes of lower Himalayas. The altitude of Shimla from the sea level makes it a very cool place. The temperature range is not very high and the maximum temperature rarely crosses 25 degrees during summers. The summers are marked by rainfalls. The nights of summers are cool and light warm cloths are required during this time. Winter are cold and chilly winds from the upper Himalayas makes the place really cold. Around Christmas or last week of December Shimla gets snow. The snowfall during this time attracts many tourists and accommodation can prove to be difficult. The Best season to visit Shimla is between April and August. But the main season is between December and January. It is better to avoid the rainy seasons.
Best Time To Visit:
The best time to visit is from October to November. Between December and February, winter sets in with temperatures around zero degree Celsius, and heavy snowfall in the area. April, May, and June are peak seasons for local tourists, when other parts of the country are very hot.
 
How To Get There
Air Shimla has an airport, 22 km away, from the main city with regular flights to Delhi. Chandigarh airport, 120 km away on the plains, has flights at more regular intervals. The flights to Shimla may be called off, during the winter months of December, January and February, so you will need to check them up in advance.
Train Broad-gauge trains run till Kalka, from all the parts of the country. From Kalka onwards, a rail car on narrow gauge takes you to Shimla which offers some fantastic sights. You can also take a bus from Kalka to Shimla.
Bus Shimla is connected by road to Chandigarh, Delhi, Dehradun, Kalka, and to many other places as well.
 
Attractions
Christ Church & St. Michael's Cathedral: Built in 1846-1857, Christ Church is the second oldest church of Northern India. The Church overlooks the ridge and is one of the landmarks of Shimla. The clocks on Christ Church were added later but none of them are functional now. The Church's exquisite beauty comes with the stained glasses that are fitted on its windows
Himachal State Museum & Library: The museum is located 2.5-km west of the scandal point and opens daily except on Mondays and public holidays. It has got a good collection of ancient historical sculptures, paintings, coins, photos and other items from all over the state as well as outside it. It has also got a library, which houses many historical books and manuscripts.
Viceregal Lodge & Botanical Gardens: On the Observatory Hills is located Viceregal Lodge, which is also known as "Rashtrapati Niwas". This magnificent building was the residence of the British Viceroy Lord Dufferin. This lodge was completed in 1888 and it is said that every brick for the building was carried by mules. This is a six-storey building and is surrounded by well-maintained gardens and lawns.
Himalayan Aviary: Close to the Viceregal lodge is the Himalayan Aviary or the Himalayan Bird Park. This park is a natural habitat of numerous species of birds found in Himachal such as Himalayan Monal, Pheasants, Peafowls and National Bird of India, the Peacock.
Institute Of Advanced Studies: Housed in the former Viceregal Lodge, it was built in 1888. A spectacular English Renaissance grey stone structure. The entry in the institute is by ticket and only on Sundays the grounds are open for the public.
The Ridge: The large open space in the heart of town presents excellent view of the mountain ranges. Shimla's landmarks - the Neo-Gothic structure of Christ Church and the new - Tudor Library building is worth seeing.

The Mall: This is the main shopping centre of Shimla with restaurants. The Gaiety Theatre, which is a reproduction of an old British theatre is a center of cultural activities. A passenger lift of HPTDC can be taken from the Cart Road and the Mall. Lakkar Bazaar adjacent to the Ridge is popular for its wood-crafts and souvenirs.

Prospect Hill: Crowned by a temple dedicated to Kamna Devi 15-minutes walk from Boileauganj on Shimla-Bilaspur road. The hill at an altitude of 2,155m offers a spectacular view of the area.

Jakhu Temple: Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, this temple is at an altitude of 2,455m near the highest point of Shimla ridge. It offers a fine view over the surrounding valleys, out to the snowcapped peaks, and over the town itself. The temple is a 45-minute walk from the Mall. Jakhu is a vantage point for witnessing the changing skyline as the sun rises or sets.

Summer Hill: At an altitude of 1,283m, Summer Hill is a picturesque spot on Shimla-Kalka Railway line offering shady walks in quiet surroundings. The Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi during his visit to Shimla lived in the elegant Georgian House of Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur located here. HP University is also situated over
Chadwick Falls: Surrounded by thick forests, one can reach these falls by taking about 45-minutes (7-km) walk from Summer Hill Chowk.

Sankat Mochan: On Shimla-Kalka road is the famous "Lord Hanuman" temple. Situated at an altitude of 1,975m, it commands an excellent view of Shimla town.

Tara Devi: On Shimla-Kalka road this holy place is accessible by rail, bus and car (11-km). From the station / road - one can visit the temple either on foot or by taxi / jeep.

Fagu (22-Km) 2,450m: Situated on Hindustan-Tibet Road (22-km), at a height of 2,450m Fagu is gifted with some enchanting views.

Bharari Spur: It is a less explored area within the town. From here, one can take a long haul by foot through the thick cedar forest to the Hot-springs of Tattapani, or to the ruins of Kiar Koti.

Annadale: Surrounded by deodar trees, this glade has an ancient temple on the edge.
 
History
Shimla (also spelt as 'Simla') derives its name from goddess 'Shayamla Devi', which is another manifestation of Goddess Kali. The capital of Himachal Pradesh came into light when the British discovered it in 1819. Till then, it was a part of the Nepalese kingdom. In 1864 Shimla was declared as the summer capital of India. After Independence, Shimla became the capital of Punjab and was later named the capital of Himachal Pradesh. In 1903 a rail line was constructed between Kalka and Shimla.
 
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